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How Female Entrepreneurs Can Overcome Barriers And Find Success Post-Pandemic

Monday, May 31, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

Winston Churchill once said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

The optimist in me sees so many opportunities in the world for women entrepreneurs as we emerge from the pandemic.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, women-owned 40% of the businesses in the U.S., representing more than 12.3 million firms. As of 2020, these companies employed nearly 9 million people and generated $1.8 trillion in sales. Last year alone, women started 1,821 new businesses every day. Of these, over 60% were started by women of color, and Latina women-owned businesses grew more than 87%.

The reasons women become business owners are varied, but according to Guidant Financial’s Women in Business: 2021 Trends survey, 29% said they were ready to be their own boss, 20% wanted to pursue their own interests or passions, and 13% were tired of corporate careers.

For over 60% of these women entrepreneurs, these businesses are their primary source of income. These are often necessity businesses and are owned by solopreneurs, but their female owners are building a very important economic foundation for future growth.

For over 60% of these women entrepreneurs, these businesses are their primary source of income. These are often necessity businesses and are owned by solopreneurs, but their female owners are building a very important economic foundation for future growth. 

Women-founded companies seem to be doing better than many of those founded by men, yet they have a harder time acquiring capital.

According to Frontera.com, private tech companies led by women achieve 35% higher ROI. And women-founded companies in First Round Capital’s portfolio outperformed companies founded by men by 63%. Yet, women receive just 7% of venture funds for their startups. No wonder women who start companies must feel like they’re pushing very large boulders up very steep hills. Why do it?

Yet, we know that data points taken out of context can be very deceiving. Is the future wide open for the creative genius of women creators? Or are societal barriers and gender bias going to hold women back from success?

Forget the problems. Look at the opportunities. Maybe, the best strategy for these times is to pause, step back and rethink where women entrepreneurs are going and how they can get to wherever they want to go.

Let’s become market creators, not just another competitor. Time for a Blue Ocean Strategy!

The optimist in me sees the post-pandemic environment as one in which women can turn the lack of certainty into a time of growth and opportunity. This is actually an advantageous time to be market creators instead of just “another” competing for the same customers.

As a Blue Ocean strategist, I see a business environment filled with unmet needs, nonusers seeking solutions, and great opportunities for adding value innovatively. Blue Ocean thinking is so right for these times. At my consulting firm, we have conducted almost 500 workshops on Blue Ocean Strategy, and our message to these groups is two-fold: 1) stop competing in a crowded red ocean where others are doing just what you are doing, and 2) go exploring.

The first is essential if you are going to break out of your old way of doing things: namely, gauging yourself by the look-alike businesses that you’ve competed with in the past.

The second is an important skill set to add to your entrepreneurial approach. You are a creator, aren’t you? Now is a perfect time to think about how to create a new market space. Your clients in the past — indeed, the whole marketplace — have changed. You’ll never know what is happening out there sitting in your office and hoping the past reconstructs itself the way it was. You have to get out and see for yourself.

Now is a perfect time to think about how to create a new market space. Your clients in the past — indeed, the whole marketplace — have changed. 

Who should you be searching for? Potential customers with unmet needs. And customers who have not been seeing your solution as the right one for them. They’re there, you just need to look around.

What does all this mean for a woman entrepreneur? For the Seven areas to focus on, Click Here!

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